4 Key Cloud Networking Challenges for Communications Service Providers
The cloud has revolutionized the world in many ways and enhanced how today’s businesses are run. It’s helped companies across a myriad of industries streamline operations, increase efficiency and establish a better overall technological infrastructure. While the cloud is generally heralded for its aforementioned benefits, cloud technology has also created excellent opportunities for both communications service providers and cloud service providers (CSPs). Infrastructure-as-a-service is booming now, but there are still some major obstacles preventing businesses and enterprises from going all in.
Resistance to Procedural Change
Even though a cloud-based infrastructure has proven itself to be a viable and often hyper-efficient option for today’s businesses, not everyone is fully ready to embrace the cloud. The truth is that there is still a considerable amount of skepticism about cloud technology—and some enterprises are reluctant to implement it due to the inevitable procedural changes that come with the territory.
As a result, this can sometimes make cloud technology a tough sell for CSPs. But as this type of technology becomes increasingly mainstream, it’s likely that even the most ardent skeptics will be more open to it in the future.
Data Privacy Concerns
With most organizations storing and sharing highly-sensitive information in a cloud environment, it’s no surprise that many are concerned with data privacy. If inside information is leaked and ends up in the wrong hands, it could have some extremely unsavory consequences. Everything from lawsuits to corporate espionage can create legitimate fears that make enterprises reluctant to get on board.
As more and more services are transferred to the cloud, enterprises will insist on increasing security measures needed to prevent and defend from data leakage.
Fear of Security Threats
But even more than privacy concerns, what’s even scarier for many companies is the thought of a full-blown cyber attack that could cripple operations, bring about costly fines and potentially do irreparable damage to their brand. When they hear about horror stories like the CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield breach in May of 2015, and the multi-bank cyber heist that took place between December 2013 and April 2014, it’s easy to see why these fears continue to linger.
That’s why alleviating this trepidation and taking the utmost precautions have become top priorities for CSPs. Encryption is not enough—a wide variety of security systems will be required to defend the enterprise from incoming attacks from the cloud.
While system downtime is more innocuous than data leakage or a cyber attack, it can still create some major headaches for enterprises. When business continuity is jeopardized, it can be a huge blow to operations and a serious profitability killer. Regardless, if downtime is due to a natural disaster, network issues or human error, the result is the same—and businesses simply can’t afford to deal with it. Setting technology decision makers’ minds at ease is crucial for CSPs, which is why they work diligently to ensure communications availability and nearly eliminate the potential for downtime. Some of the techniques for business continuity and backup include:
- Data mirroring, server clustering and sync replication
- Scheduled backups
- Service automation to execute automated maintenance procedures
- Automated programmable events in case of a failure
- Disaster recovery
Although cloud technology has arguably become the norm for today’s business infrastructure, the move to the cloud is far from complete. But by understanding and addressing the common concerns that companies have, it should be possible to win their trust and their business.
Medium-sized companies in particular are ideal targets and have been adopters of cloud services because they lack the resources and skills to develop in-house services and have accounted for the largest increase in cloud services investment.
If you want to learn more about ECI’s solutions, join us at Cloud Expo Europe on April 12 at Stand #131. Or, if you can’t make it to London for the exhibition, check out our latest free webinar, Data Centers Catalyzing Network Change, for more information about evolving cloud networking demands.